Cervélo TestTeam: Hushovd wins green jersey

© Tim de Waele

© Tim de Waele

26-Jul-2009: Cervélo TestTeam concluded its highly successful Tour de France debut Sunday with a view from the podium in Paris.

Cervélo’s durable sprinter Thor Hushovd didn’t take any unnecessary risks in Sunday’s thrilling finale on the Champs-Élysées and crossed the line sixth in the bunch sprint behind winner Mark Cavendish to secure the green points jersey.

That guaranteed him a trip to the most prestigious podium in cycling, winning his second points jersey since 2005.

“I started this morning with one aim, to keep the green jersey,” Hushovd said. “I battled throughout the race to win this jersey. I didn’t take any risks in the final sprint. There are a lot of things that can happen to that final rush to the line.”

Hushovd wins the so-called sprinters jersey with 280 points, 10 more than arch-rival Cavendish.

Key to Hushovd’s victory was his consistency in the sprints and his dramatic solo breakaway in the queen’s stage across the Alps when he won 12 points at two intermediate sprints completely uncontested.

“I won this jersey because I’m more experienced. I know how to win it,” Hushovd said. “I’ve done it before and I’ve fought for the jersey many, many years. Cavendish is the fastest sprinter, but I am the most consistent, and that’s why I won the jersey.”

Hushovd earned a spot on the final podium in Paris as one of four categories that are awarded jerseys during the Tour. The others are the yellow jersey for the GC, the white jersey for the best rider under 25 and the polka-dot jersey for the best climber.

“It’s very emotional to stand on the podium and receive this jersey. I’m proud of what I’ve done,” he said. “It was a hard battle to get more points than Cavendish, but that’s what I’ve done in the end. His big goal is to win the green jersey and I know he’s going to get many of them in the future, but I am going to give him a big fight in the next few years.”

The podium spot for Hushovd culminated a highly successful Tour for Cervélo, racing in its first Tour in its first year as a team.

The squad won two stages (one with Hushovd and another with Heinrich Haussler into Colmar) and notched a handful of top-5s with Hushovd in the sprints and Hayden Roulston in a breakaway.

Defending champion Carlos Sastre rode with the honor of having the No. 1 start bib, but struggled to stay with the decisive attacks in the Alps in the final week of the Tour.

The proud Spanish climber simply ran out of gas to finish 17th at 26:21 back.

“I’ve realized a number of things. Perhaps the first and for me the most important is that I’ve come to the conclusion that one can’t perform at a very high standard for so long. In my case, I haven’t stopped since I won the Tour de France,” Sastre said. “I’ve competed in four grand tours in less than a year: Tour, Vuelta, Giro and Tour, plus the Olympic Games, as well as an incredible number of events and acts, and that hasn’t left me any time to rest. I think that’s the reason for my tiredness and for the fact that at the moment I feel as if my body has nothing left to give. So the only thing I can think of right now is resting.”

Rest is just what Sastre and seven other Cervélo teammates will get. José Angel Gomez Marchante is the lone Cervélo rider not to make it to Paris after being forced out following a high-speed crash in the Alps.

The Tour is over and it’s time to relax, celebrate with family, friends and teammates and enjoy the success of a great Tour.

For complete TestTeam results and more pictures, click here.

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